Chef Chris Santos has partnered with Metal Blade Records to launch Blacklight Media Label. Chris Santos is the executive chief and managing partner of the New York restaraunts, VANDAL, The Stanton Social, and Beauty & Essex. Chris along with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records announced last month Blacklight Media Label, a label focusing on hard rock and heavy metal.
Blacklight Media, a name created to expose talent that has been concealed and deserve the recognition of a larger audience, will work with high energy bands with a progressive unique sound. Blacklight will release music that possess an extensive amount of melody, mixed with heavy ebbs and flow to catch the attention of its listeners. The label’s debut band, Good Tiger, led by guitarists Derva Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles will head on tour this March.
Check out our recent interview with Chris Santos!
upfrontNY: What has been the best part of following your other passion of music and partnering with Metal Blade Records to launch Blacklight Media Label?
Chris Santos: Just the promise of what I might discover in the years to come, and what bands I can assist garner attention for themselves in a real way that makes a difference in their life. I’m such a huge fan – a lifelong one at that – of Heavy Metal + Rock music and more often then not the bands I gravitate towards are the lesser known bands who have a hard time getting exposure. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure any band that chooses to work with Black Light Media maximizes their potential with the assistance of the good people over at Metal Blade and hopefully make a little noise in the industry. That’s exciting stuff for me!
upfrontNY: How does it feel to be able to give artists a chance to have their music shared?
Chris Santos: It’s everything! Again, because I tend to gravitate towards bands that are super heavy or just have a quirky vibe to them, these are the bands that tend to have to work REALLY hard to get that attention with a wider audience, and I’m hoping I can do my little part to make that happen for the bands we partner with!
upfrontNY: When in the kitchen, has there been an album or band that you like to listen /rock out to while you cook?
Chris Santos: It really runs the gamut – if we are in the weeds doing really heavy preparations for a busy night ahead we will almost always go with the fast + heavy stuff- Slayer, lots of heavy thrash etc, but as we get closer to service it usually chills out a bit and we’ll transition to stuff like Queens of the Stone Age or classic Led Zeppelin things like that. Everyone gets a turn so the music changes throughout the day.
upfrontNY: How has the music scene in New York City inspired you?
Chris Santos: I’ve been going to live shows since I was 13 years old (which required me to sneak out of the house back then) and when I moved to NYC venues like CBGB, Coney Island High and Roseland Ballroom were all around so those were my formative venues.
– New York City –
What is your number one favorite thing about New York City – The Skyline! Every night I’m reminded as I head off to sleep and every morning when I wake up I’m reminded that I am lucky enough to live in the greatest city in the world that has more options for dining, music, culture and opportunity than I could ever imagine. One look onto the city promises a day of limitless possibilities!
Favorite Season in NYC –It’s technically two seasons, but I find October to Christmas in NYC to be magical in every way.
Do you have a go to spot in NYC that you go to relax and/or be inspired – I don’t have a go to spot per se, but I do love to go on long walks to get lost in my thoughts….my favorite would probably be walking any of the lower Manhattan bridges (Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn) on a breezy sunny day. It’s like hitting a reset button.
Favorite NYC Music Venue- Today I love seeing shows at Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza, St Vitus and Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn….the more intimate the venue the better the show!